What is Aromatherapy? June 01 2016
Hello, this is Yuko Nishio, founder of NNNY Skin Care and owner of the "Natural Sage" salon in Tokyo. I'd like to start a monthly beauty blog for my fans here in the US. My very first blog will be on Aromatherapy. I hope you enjoy!
- Inaugural Issue-
Everyone wants to stay youthful, no matter what age they are. In order to do so, being healthy is key. Health is the backbone of beauty. We have started this segment to educate people on becoming healthier and more beautiful. Please don’t automatically think, “At my age?” These methods are for anyone who wants to stay young.
This month, our topic will be aromatherapy. I have studied aromatherapy for over 20 years, and I hope that the methods I introduce will reach and help a wide range of people.
What is aromatherapy?
Simply put, it is a therapeutic treatment using “Aroma”; a pleasant smell. The most common method is by using essential oils pressed from flowers, leaves, roots, fruits and branches. We use these oils to relax our bodies and our minds, while strengthening our natural healing powers.
From the flowers and fruits we smell around us, we are unknowingly being affected by the power of aroma every day. The famous historical beauty, Cleopatra, is said to have floated rose petals in her bath, laid them on her floor as carpeting, and stuffed her pillow full of them for their scent.
Why do smells have such an effect on our bodies and minds?
Our bodies are made from the foods that we consume. Food is consumed through the mouth, but the mouth is not an organ merely for eating. We also use it to speak.
As for the ear, it allows you to hear beautiful music, comforting words, which may help you feel relaxed or happy. Your eyes also help you feel good by helping you see things like beautiful scenery and art work.
Our noses also make a large contribution. Not only does it help us breath, it helps us recognize great smells. Pleasant scents not only relax you, but they make you healthy from the inside. That is the main goal of aromatherapy.
The nose is very close to the brain, causing scents to directly affect the limbic system. Since the brain is the control center for the rest of your body, it’s good to keep the brain healthy so the rest of our body will be too.
Not only do scents make us happy, they combat depression, dementia, and insomnia. In France, essential oils are not commonly sold because they are considered to be medicine to treat illnesses. In Japan, aromas are rarely used in medicine, but a wide variety of essential oils are sold commonly in stores.
The history of aroma: B.C.
In China, the Middle East, and Egypt, aromatherapy is said to have been around for over five thousand years. Even Hippocrates, “The Father of Western Medicine”, has left behind over four hundred prescriptions, all consisting of herbs.
In Egypt, a scented balm was used for antibacterial purposes on the mummies that they placed in the pyramids. Jesus Christ is said to have bathed his feet in scented oils. It just goes to show you how long people have been incorporating aromas into their lives.
Although the history of using scents in everyday life is very long, it is a French scientist by the name of Dr. Rene-Maurice Gattefosse who gave “Aromatherapy” its name.
Dr.Rene-Maurice Gattefosse suffered from a severe burn from an experiment that had gone awry. He grabbed a cold container nearby that he had just taken out of a cooler. Thinking it was water, he stuck his arm into it.
The horrible pain subsided quickly. However, it was not water inside the container, but lavender oil. Afterwards, he continued to rub the oil on his arm, until it healed quickly without a mark left behind.
That incident lead him to study essential oils and discovering new treatments. He began with lavender; later discovering that many plants had healing properties. The results of his studies have gone on to spread across the world, to be known as “Aromatherapy”.
Within our long history, the power of aromas has been experimental and has even been seen as old wives’ remedies. Dr.Rene-Maurice Gattefosse changed that into a field of study; helping more people understand this science.
Let me introduce to you a very easy way to use aromatherapy in your everyday life. This is great for anyone who is struggling with insomnia.
Get some lavender, dry it, and put it inside your pillow. The scent of lavender relaxes and helps you drift off to sleep better. If you can get some lavender essential oil, sprinkle one or two drops on some tissue paper and put it by your pillow when you sleep.
Yuko, also referred to as the anti-aging wizard, has been researching beauty and health for over 20 years and is the owner of the exclusive beauty salon "Natural Sage" in Tokyo, where her clientele includes royal families and A-list celebrities. She is also the founder of NNNY Skin Care, a premium skin care line initially created exclusively for her salon clientele.